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John C. Kakinuki

Litigation Attorney at San Rafael, CA

5.0   4 reviews
  • State Years
    New York - NY 27 years
    Dist. of Columbia - DC 35 years
    California - CA 38 years
  • Licensed for 27 years
    State NY
    Acquired 1996
    Currently Registered No misconduct found
  • Licensed for 35 years
    State DC
    Acquired 1988
    Good Standing No misconduct found
  • Licensed for 38 years
    State CA
    Acquired 1985
    Active No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About John

Learn John’s areas of practice.

My undergraduate degree is from a Japanese university and I practiced law in Japan for 24 years. 

I am a JAG in the California State Guard with the rank of Major, previously detached to the First Batallion, 143rd Field Artillery, 79th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, the California Army National Guard. 

I also am a Fourth Dan in Goju-ryu Karate, trained in Japan for 28 years, and I teach Karate in my spare time.

Photos and videos


Kakinuki Law Office, PC
1050 Northgate Dr
Ste 270
San Rafael, CA, 94903

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5.0 / 5.0
  4 customer reviews
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1 Star
Posted by Antonio | June 21, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
A great lawyer with integrity and a big heart.
Attorney John Kakinuki tremendously helped me with my divorce proceedings. He said divorce wasn’t his specialty but mine was an international marriage and he is expert in international work and was recommended by mutual friends in our church, so he worked hard to make sure everything went right. He provided me with excellent service. He gave me a lot of professional advised as to how and what I should expect from the court. He is very very professional, very knowledgeable. I was so impressed by his work ethics. My case went quick and smoothly because he paid attention to all the details and paperwork’s required by the court. Honestly at that time I don’t care about anything. Divorce was a nightmare for me. All I know is I just want it done and get over it. Even today when I should forget the proceedings. I still recall how Attorney John Kakinuki treated my case very well. He gained my respect and admiration because he was not only there to represent but he also gave me emotionally support and I felt it. He is such a great lawyer with integrity and a big heart. If you need legal advice or question I will definitely, highly recommend Attorney John Kakinuki and you will not regret it.
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Posted by Alice Masuko | June 19, 2015
Integrity, experience and passion for justice
I was referred to John Kakinuki by a  former colleague from the Baker & Mackenzie law firm. He was recommended as a professional with great integrity and an impressive history of experience in litigation and Intellectual Property both in the US and in Japan. Even though my case was not related to intellectual property, John Kakinuki agreed to meet me and advise me about a case in Japan involving my family. From the very first meeting, I was impressed by his compassion and sense of justice as he provided me valuable advice at no charge.  Mr. Kakinuki demonstrated a profound knowledge of the Japanese justice system and Japanese lawyers' work ethics. He speaks with the confidence of many years of professional experience with litigation in Japan and in the US. John Kakinuki reached out to his network of law professionals in Japan and procured a Japanese lawyer that spoke English and was willing to work for my family (who actually lives in Brazil). This was an enoumous help given the fact that the majority of Japanese lawyers will not work for foreigners. Mr. Kakinuki kindly initiated our first contact with the lawyer in Japan and helped us get started with our case.  I would highly recommend John Kakinuki as a lawyer. He is an impressive litigator who presents arguments and facts based on knowledge and experience when giving advice. I have great respect and admiration for his professionalism.
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Posted by Jim | April 9, 2015
Duty and honor is a code this person follows
I have worked with John Kakinuki on various legal matters for a number of years. I have found his character and integrity are beyond reproach. His legal skills are top notch. I have seen him handle new legal matters with professionalism and skill. He has always produced excellent legal work product. I would recommend him without hesitation or qualification.
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Posted by David | July 10, 2013
John is a world-class corporate and IP lawyer with years of experience serving large multinational firms in North America, Asia, and Europe. He is very smart, works hard for his clients, is honest and bottom-line gets results. With confidence I highly recommend him.


  • Hourly Rates $ 600-800 per hour
Payment methods


AVVO RATING 8.2 (Excellent)

Work Experience

  • President
  • Kakinuki Law Office, PC
  • 2013 - Present
  • Judge Advocate
  • CSMR, TDS AUG DET, CA Army National Guard
  • 2011 - Present
  • Legal Counsel
  • AXA Group
  • 2012 - 2013
  • General Counsel
  • AXA Rosenberg Investment Managers
  • 2011 - 2012
  • General Counsel
  • AXA Life Insurance Japan
  • 2009 - 2011
  • General Counsel
  • GE Money Japan
  • 2006 - 2009
  • Partner
  • Baker & McKenzie
  • 1991 - 2006
  • Associate
  • Baker & McKenzie
  • 1984 - 1991
View all work experience


  • UC Hastings COL
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1984
  • International Christian University
  • B.A.
  • 1979

Sample of Legal Cases

  • Automotive Parts Antitrust Litigation
  • Pending
  • In Re AXA Rosenberg Investor Litigation
  • Settlement after mediation
  • Levi Strauss & Co. v. Edwin Co., Ltd.
  • Reversed negative factual findings by Tokyo District Court that pocket stitch design not subject to protection.
View all legal cases


  • Association Internationale pour la Protection de la Propriété Intellectuelle (AIPPI)
  • Member
  • 2015 - Present
  • Marin County Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2015 - Present
  • Bar Association of San Francisco
  • Member
  • 1991 - Present
  • American Intellectual Property Law Association
  • Member
  • 1991 - Present
  • International Trademark Association
  • Member
  • 1990 - Present
  • Pharmaceutical Trade Marks Group
  • Member
  • 1990 - Present
  • American Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1985 - Present
  • European Business Council in Japan
  • Committee Chair
  • 2009 - 2011
  • American Chamber of Commerce in Japan
  • Board of Governors
  • 2006 - 2011
  • American Chamber of Commerce in Japan
  • Vice President
  • 2003 - 2004
  • Tokyo Bar Association
  • Committee Vice Chair
  • 2003 - 2011
  • Japan Federation of Bar Associations
  • Committee Member
  • 2003 - 2011
  • American Chamber of Commerce in Japan
  • Board of Governors
  • 2001 - 2002
  • Association of the Bar of the City of New York
  • Member
  • 1998 - 2014
  • Tokyo Bar Association
  • Special Foreign Member
  • 1993 - 2011
  • Japan Federation of Bar Associations
  • Special Foreign Member
  • 1993 - 2011
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
  • Associate Member
  • 1991 - 2014
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • Japanese
  • English
  • Tagalog
  • Spanish
View all languages

Honors and Awards

  • Certificate of Appreciation for Disaster Relief Activities
  • Soma City Disaster Volunteer Center, Soma City, Fukushima Pref., Japan
  • 2011


  • Asia Business Law Review no 30. p. 33-6
  • Electronic commerce law: Japan
  • 2000
  • The Trademark Reporter v 85. p. 424-46
  • ”Similarity” and other issues in Japanese trademark law
  • 1995
  • European Intellectual Property Review v 16. p. 103-10
  • Topics in Japanese trade mark law
  • 1994
  • California International Practitioner v 4. p. 60-8
  • Recent developments in Japanese regulation of international technology transfers
  • 1993
  • AIPLA Quarterly Journal v 18. p. 80-99
  • How the Japanese handle interference issues in their first-to-file world
  • 1990
  • European Intellectual Property Review v 12. p. 6-11
  • Protection of trade marks and anti-counterfeiting law in Japan
  • 1990
  • European Intellectual Property Review v 11. p. 235-8
  • Recent developments in Japanese patent law
  • 1989
View all publications

Speaking Engagements

  • Class on East Asian Law
  • Introduction to Legal Practice in Japan
  • 2015

Attorney endorsements

Received (1)
Given (7)
Endorse John
Intellectual property Attorney | Nov 18
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I endorse this lawyer with enthusiasm. He is excellent in every way both personally and analytically."
Intellectual property
Intellectual property
Criminal defense
Criminal defense
Patent infringement

Avvo Contributions

This attorney hasn't created any legal answers in Q&A or legal guides recently on Avvo.

San Rafael Litigation Lawyer John C. Kakinuki
John C. Kakinuki
Litigation Attorney
San Rafael, CA
Licensed for 38 years